Hello! I’m Juliet, one of the co-founders of Bébé Voyage. My husband and I moved to Chicago from London when our son, Felix, was about four months old. We have now been living here in Chicago for about 3 years and have since had our daughter, Alexia (10 months).
Chicago is a really wonderful city, having all the advantages of a world-class city but with a more relaxed atmosphere. As all ‘Chicagoans’ will tell you, the city really comes to life in the summer. With so much to do, it’s impossible to bundle it all into one day, particularly with two little nuggets to drag around. That said, I did my best to capture what a perfect Saturday in the summertime would look like for us.
7:00 AM – MORNING WAKE-UP
We used to get away with lazing around a bit in bed until 9ish before number 2 came along. Our baby girl is a great sleeper, but she’s also an early riser, so at 7:00 AM we are all pretty much up.
8:00 AM – YOGA AT MILLENIUM PARK
Felix does some yoga postures in pre-school, so when I suggest he and I head downtown to the lovely Millenium Park to take advantage of their summer workouts to practice some yoga, he is excited. We take the El, the above ground metro in Chicago, which he loves of course — tchoo tchoo!
The class starts at 8:00, and we are of course late, but it doesn’t matter. This place is so laid back, I could literally just lie down and do nothing and it would be fine. Felix has fun doing some downward dogs, and I just marvel at the spectacular view of the Chicago buildings in front of me while practicing my triangle pose.
9:00 AM – SPLASH AROUND IN CROWN FOUNTAIN
As the sun starts to beat down, I take Felix down to the Crown Fountain, which is part of Millenium Park. It’s a lovely place for the kids to cool down from the Chicago summertime heat.
9:30/10:00 AM – STROLL AROUND THE LOOP
My husband brings Alexia to meet up with us, and we stroll around the lovely downtown area. Maggie Daley Park is a massive hit for lovely days. On days that are just too unbearably hot, a visit to the world-famous Art Institute is in order.
11:00 AM – LUNCH
With Alexia, we try to have lunch on the earlier side. We head for a casual lunch at the Goddess and the Baker, right around the corner from the park. This cafe has a healthy menu, and is perfect for a quick and easy lunch with the kids (or without!).
11:45 AM/12:30 PM – BACK HOME FOR NAP
Currently with our baby, we are trying to have her nap at home. That said, I would gladly entertain the option of having her nap on the go exceptionally. But today, we are feeling a bit lazy and decide to head home for an afternoon nap.
Felix rarely naps these days, but today, he does!
3:00 PM – WALK TO THE BEACH
One of the most amazing things about Chicago in the summertime is the beach! The Lake is my absolute favorite thing and we only live about 15 minutes away by foot.
Going to the beach with small kids is a massive production, but if it means I get to swim in the Lake, then it’s 100% worth it.
We head to our nearest beach at the Fullerton entrance (North Avenue Beach) by taking the gorgeous Lakeshore Path which stretches miles up and down the Chicago coastline.
The walk in itself is gorgeous, but we are happy when we finally make it to the beach to “relax” a bit!
5:30 PM – BATHTIME
We head home as fast as we can, so that we don’t overtire the little ones. Alexia dozes off a bit in the stroller. We go through the bath routine as fast we can so that we can go out again for dinner!
6:30 PM – DINNER AT LAS FUENTES
Just down the street from where we live, there’s a lovely Mexican Cantina, Las Fuentes, with a courtyard that makes you feel like you actually are in Mexico. It’s not the best Mexican food you’ll find (I did live in California, so I know what good Mexican food is!), but it’s down the street, spacious, and has a lovely atmosphere. We literally never have to worry about *not* getting a table, and there are decent food options for adults and kids alike, which make it perfect for a family dinner out.
7:30 PM/8:00 PM – BEDTIME
It’s been a long day for everyone! We head home, put the kids to sleep and crash in front of TV together. …Another gorgeous Chicago summer day, down! I’m looking forward to sharing more amazing Chicago days with you soon.
Share with us your Chicago hotspots in the comments below.